Consumers growing green

Written by Sudhir Chowdhary | Updated: Feb 27 2012, 05:59am hrs
Are you buying green If so, then you are among a growing number of consumers in India who are opting to purchase environmentally-sound products such as organic fruits and vegetables, organic milk and milk products, organic eggs and poultry food. Consumers are also willing to buy eco-friendly detergents and other organic cleaning products, if readily available. Electronic items that require low power consumption are also in high demand.

Although the market for green and environmentally-friendly products is still nascent in India, this is expected to change. A recent Green Consumer survey conducted by Emergent Ventures India (EVI) indicates that there is a growing market for high-quality products that are environmentally sound and that possess greater nutritional value.

Environmental awareness is on the rise, and the demand for environmentally friendly products is increasing. At the same time, consumer expectations are also rising. Through better marketing of environmental and green benefits and by getting the price right, producers and marketers will be best able to position their products and gain market share in this important new segment, says Ashutosh Pandey, presidentbusiness development, EVI. EVI is an integrated

climate and clean energy firm. Its mission is to combine finance with low carbon technology to bring about solutions that mitigate climate change.

The survey was conducted to understand the potential for green/environmentally-friendly market in India, with particular attention to the FMCG sector. Data was obtained based on a questionnaire administered to 500 people in the Delhi NCR region. The study provides an opportunity for businesses to enter this market by gathering information on the attributes consumers look for, the factors that influence their decision market and their willingness to pay.

In the study, consumers were asked how concerned they were on various environmental issues. The three most important

environmental issues about which people were concerned are air pollution (45.4%),

deforestation (42.4%) and depleting natural resources (40.2%) respectively. When it comes to taking action, respondents highlighted water scarcity, global warming and climate change.

Most of the survey respondents perceive organic food as environmentally friendly, free from fertilisers and pesticides but expensive. With 28% of respondents having consumed organic products, the majority have not, presenting an untapped market for producers and marketers. Within food products, the most popular products are organic vegetables, fruits and cereals. The main reasons to buy organic products are the nutritional benefits and absence of pesticides. Within the food categories, consumers were primarily interested in organic fruits (61.2%) and vegetables (61.1%), organic milk and milk products (49.3%) with lower interest in organic cereal (46.5%) and organic eggs, meat and poultry food (41.2%).

In the realm of organic cleaning products, 67 % of respondents were willing to buy eco-friendly detergents, if readily available. To assess the environmental friendliness of such products, consumers typically scan the list of ingredients at the back of the product, in addition to brand labeling and word of mouth/recommendation. In buying electronic products, the most important factors are features and price, followed by energy consumption, aesthetic/looks, brand name and durability.

It is obvious that Indian consumers are going greener and they are ready to put their money on environmentally-friendly products.